WARRIORS midfielder Marshall Munetsi will have to wait longer before he can make a dream move to the English Premiership football after his French side Stade de Reims revealed the 26-year-old is not for sale.
The lanky star has been a transfer target for English Premier League side Brighton and Hove who have been reported to have made an inquiry on the Zimbabwean’s availability this summer.
Munetsi spent the off-season break back home before returning to his base in France last week ahead of the pre-season preparations that got underway on Monday at the Raymond Kopa Life Centre for the upcoming 2022/2023 French Ligue 1 campaign.
The former Orlando Pirates player extended his stay at Reims just recently which will keep him at the French club until 2026.
But, Brighton and Hove, keen to replace Yves Bissouma, who has joined fellow English Premiership club Tottenham Hotspur, reportedly approached the French side with the latter suggested to have shown their willingness to let go the Zimbabwean for a fee in the region of £7 million. However, it appears, at least for now, Munetsi will not be making the move after Reims president Jean-Pierre Caillot was quoted in the media saying the Friendly Academy graduate was not leaving the club.
According to MadeInFOOT, the Reims boss Caillot was quoted by L’Union saying: “He (Munetsi) has just extended (his contract) and is untransferable.”
Munetsi joined the French Ligue 1 side in 2019 from Orlando Pirates. His contract was expiring in 2024 before he recently extended it by a further two years.
Posting on their website at the time of the extension of Munetsi’s contract, Stade de Reims described the Zimbabwean as a versatile and enduring player. And their move to turn down Brighton and Hove’s overtures should not be a surprise.
“Capable of occupying all midfield positions, but also the position of central defender, Marshall Munetsi has an atypical profile: a versatile and enduring player on whom Oscar Garcia has been able to count on 23 times this season.
“During the 2021/22 financial year, after nine matches, he was the one who had swallowed the most kilometres in Ligue 1 Uber Eats.
“The Zimbabwe international had covered 103.9km, an average of 11.5km per game.
“His record? 13.72 km during the match between Stade Rennais and Stade de Reims (0-2). Tireless midfielder, impregnable central defender, Marshall Munetsi also knows how to turn into a formidable scorer!”
The 26-year-old was impressive in the past season in which he scored five goals for his side.
He was one of the top performers for his position in their French top-flight league and it appears that performance attracted interest from Brighton and Hove.
With the French club’s boss making it clear on their position regarding the Zimbabwean, they will have to look somewhere else.
The Daily Mail reported last week that Graham Potter’s side had made inquiries about the highly-rated Zimbabwean midfielder.
“Brighton have asked about highly rated Reims midfielder Marshall Munetsi.
“The Zimbabwe international, who turned 26 on Wednesday, has been impressing in the French league where his statistics have compared favourably with some of the best midfielders in the country.
“Munetsi’s figures, notably on interceptions and defensive duels won in game, put him ahead of the likes of Aurelien Tchouameni, who joined ReaL Madrid from Monaco earlier this month, and Boubacar Kamara, who left Marseille for Aston Villa.” Munetsi’s football career began at Friendly Academy before moving to South Africa where he featured for several teams before moving to Orlando Pirates where he distinguished himself as a top player. *Herald*